THE achievements of 33 first-year apprentices, who've completed the TAFE NSW Mining Skills Program in Muswellbrook, were recently acknowledged at an award ceremony.
Now in its 15th consecutive year, the comprehensive 18-week initiative complements the course delivery of machining, electrical, metal fabrication or automotive qualifications to trainees employed by resource companies throughout the Hunter.
The program equips the apprentices with the fundamentals of each trade area and they receive an overall education on mining, including several visits to mining and heavy industry environments.
Three students were highly-praised at the ceremony, which took place at TAFE NSW Scone.
Highest Achiever (Dux) - Thomas Callinan, Muswellbrook, AGL Macquarie apprentice
Outstanding Achievement - Tyler McDonald, Port Waratah Coal Service apprentice
Outstanding Achievement - Justin Brown, Hitachi Machinery apprentice
TAFE NSW regional general manager Jason Darney said the ceremony recognised all pupils' feats.
"In developing the next generation of mining industry leaders, it is critical that job-seekers have access to high quality education and training," he explained.
"All 33 apprentices have excelled in their efforts to gain a strong understanding of the resources sector and the role they will play within it -and we congratulate them."
Award-winner Thomas Callinan is studying a Certificate III in Mechanical Engineering at TAFE NSW Muswellbrook.
He said the program had enabled him to pursue his career goals.
"I'm thrilled to have been recognised with this award," the youngster said.
"I've learned a lot of new skills from TAFE NSW teachers who are experts in the industry.
"The program provided me with a good taster of each of the key trade areas, which are important to absorb so that I can make informed career decisions.
"I have completed the TAFE NSW Muswellbrook Mining Skills Program with valuable knowledge, industry contacts and a clear insight into how things work in the industry."